Finding Time for Self-Care as a Single Parent


Being a single parent comes with its own set of challenges, often leaving little room for personal time and self-care. Finding moments for yourself might seem impossible between managing household responsibilities, attending to your children’s needs and juggling work commitments. However, prioritising self-care is essential for your well-being and your ability to be present and effective for your kids.

Schedule Self-Care Time

Just as you schedule appointments and activities for your children, plan time for self-care. This could be as simple as setting aside 15 minutes daily for meditation, exercise or reading a book. Additionally, aim for longer blocks of time for certain activities, such as a relaxing bath, a walk in nature or pursuing a hobby, during weekends or whenever you have additional support.

Delegate Tasks and Seek Support

Don’t hesitate to ask for help when you need it. Reach out to family members, friends or trusted neighbours who can lend a hand with child care responsibilities, even if it’s just for an hour or two. Consider forming a support network with other single parents where you can trade off kid duties, allowing each other time for self-care without the added expense of a babysitter. Find supportive friends who can lend a listening ear and empathise with you.

Practice Self-Care on the Go

Prioritising self-care on the go is essential if you’re juggling multiple responsibilities. Take advantage of these moments, such as driving to pick up the kids or waiting for them outside of school. Consider listening to podcasts or practicing mindfulness during these times to recharge and center yourself. Engaging in activities that bring you joy, such as listening to your favorite music, can also alleviate stress when completing mundane tasks like tidying up.

Make Time for Your Social Life

Making time for your social life as a single parent may seem daunting amid the demands of daily life, but it’s crucial for your overall well-being. While your children are your top priority, nurturing friendships and maintaining social connections are equally important. Those who don’t socialise regularly are at greater risk of anxiety and depression due to feelings of loneliness.

 Schedule regular outings with friends, whether a quick coffee date, a weekend brunch or a movie night. Additionally, consider joining parenting groups to meet other single parents who understand your unique challenges. Remember, you’re allowed a life and hobbies outside of being a mum or dad.

Follow a Morning Routine

Making time for yourself before the little ones wake up can set a positive tone for the rest of the day. Getting up just a bit earlier than your children allows you to carve out sacred time for self-care, whether savouring a quiet cup of coffee or engaging in a brief meditation session. This uninterrupted time lets you center yourself, mentally prepare for the day ahead and attend to your needs before diving into the responsibilities of parenting.

Prioritise Healthy Habits

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a fundamental aspect of self-care. Ensure you get enough sleep, eat nutritious meals, stay hydrated and exercise. Batch cooking and meal prepping are lifesavers for busy single parents, allowing you to have healthy food readily available throughout the week with minimal effort.

Set Boundaries and Learn to Say No

It’s easy for single parents to overextend themselves by taking on too many responsibilities. Practice setting boundaries and saying no to things that drain your energy or affect your well-being. Remember that prioritising your needs isn’t selfish but necessary for your health and happiness.  You can prevent burnout and boost your self-esteem by learning to say no.

Incorporate Your Children Into Self-Care

While it’s important to carve out time for yourself, involving your children in self-care activities can benefit you and them. Take family walks or bike rides, have a movie night at home or participate in creative activities together. These things can strengthen your bond and allow you to replenish your energy while spending quality time with them.

Fill Your Own Cup First

Finding time for self-care as a single parent requires creativity, flexibility and sometimes, a leap out of your comfort zone. However, prioritising your well-being is an investment in yourself and sets a positive example for your children.

Author Bio

With a personal focus on recovery and growth, Jack Shaw writes to provide actionable steps and wisdom to those in need of some. Jack is the senior Lifestyle editor of Modded Magazine, where he explores topics of mental health, parenting, hobbies and relationships. You can find his works published in Tiny Buddha, Kentucky Counseling Center, Calmerry and more.

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